Sports psychologist helped start Salinas High golf team in 1946

Throughout his career in golf, Glen Albaugh has seemed to be in the right place at the time.

For the now 81-year-old Albaugh, who'll be one of those honored at tonight's annual California Golf Writers and Broadcasters Association banquet at The Inn at Spanish Bay, it all started at Salinas High back in 1946.

That year, Albaugh and a group of his golfing buddies all found themselves being cut from the baseball team. So they banded together to form what would become Salinas High's first golf team.

"The only thing we needed was a coach. There was a teacher who played and was getting ready to retire. He said he'd cover the coaching. So off we went," Albaugh said.

At the time, the only other local prep golf programs were Monterey, Santa Cruz and Watsonville. The Cowboys' home course was what is now Salinas Golf and Country Club.

"I remember back then we could play Pebble Beach for $5, which of course we did," Albaugh said.

Among Albaugh's teammates on the Cowboys' inaugural squad were Joe Skillicorn, Bob Moore and brothers Dennis and Michael Murphy. Michael Murphy went on to pen one of golf's greatest books, 'Golf in the Kingdom', and co-founded the Esalen Institute in Big Sur. In Murphy's senior year, the team went undefeated.

In 1972, Albaugh was teaching sports psychology at University of Pacific when there was a need for a men's golf coach there. He took the job, where he stayed on until 1992.

During his time coaching the Tigers,

Albaugh's players included 2012 amateur Senior Player of the Year Mark Miller, the late Bryan Pini, won two straight Northern California Golf Association Amateur Championship titles in 1977 and 1978 and 2004 Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational winner Jeff Brehaut, who now competes on the Champions Tour.

In 1980, the Tigers advanced to the NCAA Championships for the first time. But it's the Tigers off the course accomplishments that Albaugh takes the most pride in.

"During my 20 years as coach, we had a 100 percent graduation rate," Albaugh said.

These days, Albaugh is a sports psychology consultant for amateur golfers and professionals. His clientele includes 2012 ATT Pro-Am runner-up Charlie Wi, Scott McCarron and 2012 The First Tee Open at Pebble Beach winner Kirk Triplett. His principles became the basis of the 2006 book, "Winning the Battle Within," which he co-authored with Michael Bowker.

Albaugh also recently started the Glen Albaugh Coach Program at The First Tee of San Joaquin. The program helps finance the training of coaches at the facility.

"What I concentrate on is managing thoughts and emotions," said Albaugh, who still resides in Stockton. "Also how to practice effectively. It's about learning what the zone is, how to get there and how to stay there for a longer period of time. Mostly, people need to learn how to enjoy the game more. That means being really engaged."

At tonight's banquet, Albaugh will be honored with the CGWBA's Golden State Award for his dedicated service to the game.

"I'm absolutely delighted," Albaugh said. "I'll have a lot of friends there to celebrate with me."

Others to be recognized by the CGWBA are LPGA Tour veteran Pat Hurst (Hall of Fame), longtime Cal Berkeley men's golf coach Steve Desimone (Jack Lemmon Ambassador of Golf Award) and Sports Ilustrated senior writer and author Alan Shipnuck, also a Salinas High alum.

The banquet will also see the NCGA induct the third class into its Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame inductees are Johnny Miller, Roger Maltbie and former LPGA member/now The Golf Channel commentator Kay Cockerill. Former NCGA director of rules and competitions Roger Val, who retired in 2010, will also receive the Distinguished Service Award.

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